OUTSTANDING ANGST STORY
Disclaimer: The boys are not mine - pity. But the story is!
Note: It started out as a couple of snapshots, literally, but thanks to the encouragement of my betas, Xasphie and Annie, it became a series. A big thanks also goes to Lisa - for making Hallmark moments happen (-: - and of course, Lyn, for giving my stories a home from now on. Being a Sentinel writer is one big adventure for me, and I'm happy to join the neighborhood!!
Warning: Deals with a suicide attempt and its aftermath. It's also still a WIP, but if that doesn't scare you off -- feedback is welcome!
'I wanted to talk to you first, so you'll be prepared. I'm sorry, but the way things are, I can't recommend you for active police duty.'
With those words, she had effectively signed my death sentence. When she said them, I felt the color drain from my face, a numbness creeping all over me. I sat there, just staring at her for a moment, wondering if I was paralyzed. I don't think I could have moved a finger then.
Severe depression. Suicidal tendencies.
You betcha, lady.
That mandatory appointment with the department shrink, I hadn't even given it a thought.
I didn't understand it. I couldn't grasp the concept. I wasn't exactly a layman when it came to the human psyche including my own, no, I was a psychology minor, after all. So I knew that I was a little bit neurotic, so what? As Sam always used to say, that's part of my patented charm.
Nothing pathological. At least, no more than Jim's repressive tendencies, right?
Everybody has their issues they need to work on, doesn't mean you're not fit for the job you choose. I had always considered myself pretty self-reflective, had a genuine interest in and curiosity for other people. In one of those rare moments when he really let his guard down, Jim had complimented me for that. He said he needed me.
Oh my God!
I had to have misunderstood her, right?
"No." Denial was all that was left for me now. "You have to understand, this is important..."
"I'm sorry, Blair. I know you're in a difficult situation right now and this is the last thing you wanted to hear from me, but I have to think of your safety, too. Look, you've told me you still have doubts about becoming a cop." And never thought she'd be using it against me.
"Please keep in mind that depression is treatable. It's not like everything is hopeless."
<Safety> <doubts> <depression> <treatable> <hopeless>
"It is," I said finally. "Believe me, it is."
"I really don't think so," she opposed firmly. "It would be best to start therapy immediately. I could give you a few names if you don't want to continue working with me here. Consider a support group and self help literature and please, feel free to ask me anything you'd like to know. You strike me as someone who'll approach a problem head on. That'll be to your advantage."
I guessed she was expecting an answer, so I gave her one. "Sounds good."
When she talked about all the concrete steps to take, it was as if a weight had been lifted off her shoulders; now that she had given me the truth, the one I already knew, if I was honest.
I had been smiling and telling everyone I was okay, but at home, I'd found it hard to keep from Jim how I would have preferred not to get up at all in the morning.
The same truth was weighing me down now.
"I'd like to think about it."
"Why don't you come and meet me tomorrow? Experience shows that the greatest success is achieved with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. The sooner you start the better."
I shuddered, thinking of student loans and a therapist's bills - and guiding Jim. "That sounds like cancer."
"It doesn't mean your life is over. A crisis can also help you define where you stand and where you want to go from there."
Yeah, I knew about that. Like dying and merging animal spirits.
"I suppose. Alright, let's make that appointment. I'd like to do everything to kick that depression's ass. That is so not me," I stated, hoping that it sounded convincing.
She smiled. "Ten o'clock?"
"That's fine with me."
Guiding Jim. There was no place for depression, I thought, as I packed all my Sentinel research into a box, ready for use by the person who'd do that job much better than me. Nothing happens in this universe randomly, so it was surely for a reason that Megan came to Cascade, to Major Crimes, and that she found out about the Sentinel secret. Even if it looked like I had to keep her and Jim from killing the other at times, even though they'd hardly ever admit it, they like each other a lot.
They are alike.
She's a damn good cop.
She's not depressive.
The doc's interpretations weren't all wrong. I wouldn't have become a cop just because I wanted the job so badly; staying Jim's partner was the ultimate goal.
It would have been worth the sacrifice. I realized that once again, because when she told me the truth, it was worse, so much worse than giving that press conference. What would that kind of future be like? Jim still carried so much guilt around with him; of course he would have made me stay.
But nothing, nothing could ever give me back the beautiful life we once had.
I can't do it at the loft. The sight and the smell of all the blood would haunt him forever. And I have to do it soon, because otherwise I won't go through with it.
Don't look at me that way; it's the best solution for everyone to end this pitiful excuse for a life.
I drive for a while until I reach a rest stop that is mostly deserted during the week. I park the Volvo, unbuckle the seat belt and pick up the razor blade, regarding the small object in my hand for a moment.
It's such a cliché, but it's not like there are a thousand better ways to efficiently commit suicide. She had been quite right, just underestimated how thin the thread was that still connects me to life.
That day at the fountain I'd come back for a promise.
Life hadn't kept it.
//Make it quick.// The blood loss would make me lose consciousness soon. It would be painful. It would be the last pain I'd ever feel.
I feel my eyes water when the sharp shining blade breaks the skin, making a bright crimson line.
Jim would understand after he had talked to the doc.
And someday we'd meet again. Maybe, letting him go when all I had wanted was a life that included him, me included in his life, should do something good for my karma, shouldn't it?
July 1, 2003